Imagine being a Mason for 75 years having not been raised until the age of 37! That means you were a Mason before WWII and that you could have collected Social Security for 50 years! That describes Walter Breuning, the world’s oldest man at 112, who will be 113 this month. Brother Breuning lives at the Rainbow Retirement Center in Great Falls, Montana.
But Breuning is far from confined to bed. Why he gets all over town. Both the billings Gazette and the Great Falls Tribune report:
Despite his age, Breuning is not confined to the Rainbow. A few years ago, he was given a motorized four-wheel scooter, and Moore might be able to get a photo of him zipping along the sidewalks downtown — if the weather’s right.
“Ten or 12 of us here have scooters, and we can go just about anywhere,” Breuning said. (1,2)
Breuning usually rises around 6:00 AM every morning, breakfasting at 7:00. He attends to errands and meets with friends until 2:00 PM when he usually retires to his room to read, write and listen to the radio.
“Normally I eat about 600 calories for breakfast, eggs and toast, or French toast, or pancakes, or the fruit bar.” By eating just two meals a day and restricting his calories to about 1,200, his weight has remained stable at 125 pounds for the past 30 years, said the 5-foot-6 Breuning.(1,2)
Breuning has received a great deal of attention since attaining the status of oldest living man. Governor Brian Schweitzer recently paid him a visit and they talked politics and history for hours. Following Governor Schweitzer was Imperial Potentate Jack Jones making the trip from Tampa, Florida to honor this man. John Moore, a famous Pulitzer photographer from Denver, came to take his picture.
KRTV of Great Falls also came and they tell us:
Members of the organization (Masons) came from all over the state – and country – to honor the legend, including the Imperial Potentate of Shriners International and the highest ranking Shriner in the world, Jack Jones.
Walter was given a plaque and pin for his seven-plus decades of dedication to the cause during a Sunday ceremony at the Rainbow Assisted Living Center in Great Falls.
“There’s many men who are interested in these organizations, but when it comes to commitment, Walter is the man,” explained Grand Warden Tom Duffy, Jr. “He’s had years of commitment, 75 plus in Masonry and Shrinedom. Boy, if Webster had a definition behind it, wouldn’t it be Walter right behind ‘commitment’?” (3)
Middle picture shows De Smet, South Dakota where Breuning grew up.
A man who has seen and done much, that’s Walter Breuning. But he has much more to do. He is still travelling upon that Level of time from whose bourne no traveler returns.
(1) Oldest Man Has Hands Full With Media, Great Falls Tribune –
(2) At 112, World’s Oldest Man Has No Time For Nonesense, Billings Gazette –
(3) Walter Breuning Receives Another Honor, KRTV –